Friday, 5 May 2017

09:02 – It was 52F (11C) when I took Colin out at 0700 this morning, cloudy and breezy. It started drizzling late afternoon yesterday. We ended up getting another 2.9 inches (7.4 cm) total overnight, another monthish worth of rain in 12 hours or so.

Our power here is pretty reliable. In the 18 months or so we’ve lived here, we’ve had one short outage. Until I woke up when our power failed at 0337 this morning. I went out on the front porch to look around. It was really, really dark. There was one small LED backup light on in the convenience store across the road and one light visible a mile or so south of us down US21. At first I thought it was a streetlight, but I suspect it was actually a parked vehicle with a spotlight, probably a power company truck. But those were the only lights visible. Colin and I went back to bed. Barbara was still asleep. I was awakened a couple hours later when the power came back on and my computer and printer rebooted.

Barbara is off to the dentist, gym, and supermarket this morning. After lunch, we’ll continue working on science kit stuff today and then over the weekend. We have chemical bottles to fill. Lots and lots of bottles.

We started watching the PA drama The Last Ship last night. A pandemic virus kills most of the planet’s population. Our heroes are the crew and CDC scientists on an Arleigh Burke destroyer that’s been isolated in the Arctic for several months. The science is bogus, but not horribly so. The plotting requires a suspension of disbelief. (Where did all those Russian helicopters come from, and how were they able to approach an Arleigh Burke so closely without being detected, let alone press an attack on it with missiles that appeared to be commercial fireworks?) But Barbara said it was “okay” and that she doesn’t mind me watching it as long as I don’t binge-watch it.

Our mail carrier and fellow prepper Lori is in a community theater play. That’s her, front row right.

 

 

32 thoughts on “Friday, 5 May 2017”

  1. Yesterday the official high was 104F. Today is predicted 90F and tomorrow 70F. Rain coming as well, which is not common here this time of year.
    Yesterday at 5pm the power went out. I went outside and turns out PG&E had cut the power so AT&T could do something on the fiber stringing job the are in the process of doing here. Lineman said a few minutes. It was 30. Just in time, at 104F at the hottest part of the day the living room was starting to feel warm.
    Fine planning.

    BTW the 104 was a record for the date.

  2. We had a real wild thunder and lightning show with a rain deluge last night. It started at 2030 PDT and ended at 2040 PDT (8:30pm to 8:40pm). In those 10-minutes we got more than 0.41-inches of rain indicated by my rain gauges. I say more than because my rain gauges (I have 2) could not keep up. From water standing in a outdoor cat bowl that was empty (I know shame on me 😉 ) I measured 1.25-inches. Our street looked like a raging river. We lost power for less than one-second, but enough to switch all the UPSs on. Cable/internet/phone was out for about 15-minutes. Our T-Mobile cell service worked through it all so I sucked up some of my unlimited data watching the weather radars.

    I stand by my yesterday’s predictions regarding healthcare and costs. The more both sides talk the more firm I am in my beliefs. This could be the trigger event we have all been preparing for.

    Jobs numbers for April look good, and they are really even better than the gooberment agencies are telling. With Obuttwad numbers were manipulated to look good. With tRump they are being manipulate to look bad. The trouble is that the numbers are so good that they can’t be made to look good, so the MSM is saying it actually the “legacy” of Obuttwad.

  3. I like “The Last Ship”. The male lead suffers from depression and is taking some time off from filming the current season. Speaking of helicopters, they always get the sounds wrong, controls wrong, etc. My Twin watching buddy include TLS on our SciFi Friday’s watching binge.

  4. We started watching the PA drama The Last Ship last night. A pandemic virus kills most of the planet’s population. Our heroes are the crew and CDC scientists on an Arleigh Burke destroyer that’s been isolated in the Arctic for several months. The science is bogus, but not horribly so. The plotting requires a suspension of disbelief.

    The plotting as well as some of the casting requires a suspension of disbelief, but “The Last Ship” does a pretty good job with their action sequences on a basic cable budget.

    At some point, the show will return for the fourth season this Summer. The date has yet to be determined for two reasons: (1) This is a busy Summer for geek-interest TV. (2) Production of the show is on hiatus due to Eric Dane’s “depression”.

    The show was on the verge of being huge last year when the network botched the premiere in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting. TNT won’t want to make the same mistake twice, especially with the looming AT&T buyout of the parent company.

  5. I hadn’t heard about Dane’s depression. Barbara watches Grey’s Anatomy, so she recognized him immediately. I told her that one of the GA doctors was in it, but I couldn’t remember if it was McAsshole, McShithead, McDumbfuck, or McMoron. Turns out it was McMoron.

    As to the science, I’m not a virologist, epidemiologist, or synthetic biologist, although I play all of those on TV. But even I recognize the howlers when I hear them.

    Oh, well. It could be worse. I remember an article on amateur astronomy that was in either The Telegraph or The Daily Mail that had a nice young couple with a telescope out on their balcony. The only problem was, they had the back end pointed at the sky and the front end pointed at their balcony floor. Still, they looked to be fascinated at the close-up view of their floor.

  6. I guess I can strike Springfield and Rock River Arms off any of my future purchases. Backstabbing sellouts in Illinois.

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2017/04/john-boch/springfield-rock-river-illinois-sell-picking-pieces/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Weekly%20Digest%202017-05-05&utm_term=TTAG-ALL

    Not that I had any plans to buy anything from either company, anyway.

    As for “background noise,” I knew about the serial stabbing piece of shit getting stopped by a gun-owner in TX but otherwise, yeah, it’s a steady drumbeat of stuff and we become gradually, like that frog, inured to it. Maybe if I lived in TX I’d be more alert to those two stories, but I also still believe we need to pay the lion’s share of attention to whatever chit is going down in our own AO.

    I understand about jobs and family commitments and so forth, but the window of being able to GTFO could be closing later this afternoon, next week, next year or five years from now. Beyond that I don’t care to venture a guess, but I bet it will be interesting.

    49 here today and “feels like 45.” More rain showers and drizzle into next week, and 70 degrees tomorrow.

    Me and the kid from across the street, who is now six feet and 250 pounds, stacked firewood this morning and got 95% of it done; all I got now is the final cleanup of wet leaves and odd-sized pieces on the ground. I have two full racks of wood up to my eyeballs. We’ll order two more cords in July or August and get those stacked in two more racks. By then I hope to have successfully lobbied for a SimplePump manual device for our well and maybe a generator.

    And between now and then I have outside and inside projects galore to work on, while my Fed background check grinds on and on and on….don’t even care anymore.

  7. “Well it’s Cinco de Mayo and even if it’s not Cerveza Mexicana”

    Well, my grandkids are 25% as their dad, my SIL, is 50%.

    So we don’t make a deal of it, regardless. However, he drinks Pacifico with my backyard grown limes while I do PBR.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56duVYLsd4Q

  8. As to the science, I’m not a virologist, epidemiologist, or synthetic biologist, although I play all of those on TV. But even I recognize the howlers when I hear them.

    Before the Vantucky/Northwest adventure, I did a lot of crypto related work for Death Star Telephone, specifically the VPN software IBM employees use to telecommute from all over the world. I’d like to know where the “NCIS” field agents buy their special laptops capable of cracking AES-256 in 20 minutes. A machine like that would have made my debugging tasks a *lot* easier.

  9. I’d like to know where the “NCIS” field agents buy their special laptops capable of cracking AES-256 in 20 minutes

    Same place they buy the software that can enhance an image enough to read a license plate. After such image was recovered from a low quality security camera that had an image of a license plate reflected in the hub cap of a ’57 Desoto, in the dark, while it was raining. Impressive stuff indeed.

  10. “I’d like to know where the “NCIS” field agents buy their special laptops capable of cracking AES-256 in 20 minutes.”

    Those laptops are just dumb terminals that front for massively parallel arrays of 1,024 to 8,096 Deep Blue supercomputers.

  11. Ah, Pacifico. My beer of choice in Puerto Vallarato over twenty years ago. At the then exchange rate just 25¢ per ice cold bottle from the little corner stores if you had an empty. Otherwise 50¢. So the first of the day was 50¢ because we’d leave the last empty near a park bench for a random kid to find in the morning.

    The other day the local Walmart had six packs for 12.88. Er, no.

  12. “The other day the local Walmart had six packs for 12.88. Er, no.”

    My Rite Aid has 12 – 12 oz bottles for $12.99.

  13. My fav cerveza mex is Negra Modelo but here it’s Firestone DBA from Paso Robles CA. I can also just drink a regular Bud (not light).

  14. I used to like San Miguel Dark from the Philippines. Ah, those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end..

    …meanwhile looks like the French will choose continued violent musloid attacks and eventual sharia and becoming dhimmis under the Greater Caliphate:

    http://news.trust.org/item/20170505053834-t4b4o

  15. Used to like SM dark too but no where around here to be found.
    Most mex lagers lack flavor in my book. Wife and daughter buy Pacifico and Coronas but they can have them. Wife prefers a bloody Mary anywho and daughter’s been making micheladas a lot. Her bf seems to like Newcastle. Sorry save the tomatoes for the salsa.

  16. Prepping for the week:

    My Baofeng UV-82L radios arrived and have been programmed. Thanks to everyone here for the helpful links. Next up is licensing for me, adding local emergency frequencies to the handhelds, and a bunch of stuff I don’t know I should know or have. Lots of information to absorb.

    In case anyone cares, the UV-82L has a built-in FLASHLIGHT. I am sure it is of the finest Chinese quality.

    My only comment on the kit so far is the uselessness of the user manual (expected) and the more-than-useless included software (mildly unexpected). The advice here, however, on CHIRP and such got me past that in minutes. The kit, https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F87TTX4, includes the programming cable, remote speaker, and ear piece, which combine appear to be a good price. If I buy more radios, I won’t need those accessories.

    Aside from the radios, my more immediate tasks are simply to organize. I am coming up on two years in my current home, and there are some things I just need to dig into since my wife passed away. My focus has been on creating a stable home base for my daughter and myself. I have a solid core for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse, but it does little good if you can’t find the box of Zombie-Be-Gone widgets.

    My prepping advice to anyone; keep things at least somewhat organized. If you can’t find it, you don’t have it.

  17. Hope you see something in “the last ship” that I missed. When they set sails on the ship – I was done – so sad…. Lack of basic science is a “show stopper” for me.

  18. I should add: lack of basic science is great if it is intended (“Mars Attacks” for example). Horrible if not intended.

  19. …meanwhile looks like the French will choose continued violent musloid attacks and eventual sharia and becoming dhimmis under the Greater Caliphate:

    http://news.trust.org/item/20170505053834-t4b4o

    My thoughts also if it comes true. But I do not believe polls anymore except the polls where validated people actually vote.

  20. Who’d a thunk it?

    Women actually earn the majority of Ph.D. degrees in the U.S. But not every doctoral program is the same, and not every Ph.D. will lead to the same salary once the student graduates. A new study, authored by Kim A. Weeden of Cornell University and Sarah Thébaud and Dafna Gelbgisera of the University of California, Santa Barbara and published in the journal Sociological Science, looks at how male and female students are distributed across different fields of study in Ph.D. programs and tries to give some of the underlying reasons why.

    Well anyone but these Phds in voodoo fields I guess.

  21. Let’s face it, most diplomas are worth toilet paper. Of course my daughter’s BS in accounting that she received in Jan got her an immediate job(not interning) in a good local firm. Well she’s doing grunt work right now but in a year or two a CPA and that tuition will have been worth it. No student debt either.

  22. I am always amused seeing sociologists try to do statistical analyses. Particularly the conclusions they draw.

  23. They do statistical analyses? I thought the just substituted their biases.

  24. We lost power about 9:20 last night. Which was odd. Yes it was raining but no lightening or thunder and our utilities are buried so outages are rare.
    We were reading with the TV on in the background while outside poured a steady rain. Then BAM – suddenly it went dark and quiet, then the lights flickered on, off, on, off and finally decided to stay off. We sat in the silent dark for a moment, waiting to see if the power would come back on. When it didn’t, I said “Well, I’ll get some light” and trotted down the hall. The hallway was well lit because I have battery powered motion sensor LED light strips above each doorway so it’s easy to get around at night or in a power failure. I picked up our little solar charged LED lantern from the windowsill where I keep it for charging, and we had light again. I looked out the windows into the drumming rain and saw that it wasn’t just us, the whole neighborhood was dark. Karron picked up her Kindle as did I and we resumed reading. But the complete silence was a bit unnerving so I pulled out our battery radio and found an oldie FM station to keep us company. Eventually I drifted off to sleep and sometime in the night the power returned. I had decided that if the power was still off when I woke, I would fire up our generator to keep the freezers and fridge cold but the power was on when I drove off to work so I didn’t worry. Then the wife called about 2:30 … “The power’s been off most of the day and I’m worried about the frozen food”. Well duh. So I skipped the last meeting of the day and drove home to a dark house. I set up the generator, connected it to the propane and fired it up. Then I started laying out the extension cords to the freezers and the fridge. About the time I had swapped the plugs out and was proudly supplying my own power, the lights came back. “OK” I thought, the wife said the power was up & down all day so I will leave the generator running for a while. After an hour with no interruption I shut the generator down and plugged the freezers back into the mains. “That’s nice” my wife said, and I smiled, proud that I was prepared and able to save the day when the SHTF and she appreciated it. Then she said “The quiet is nice, that generator is so noisy”. My smile disappeared. But she is right, the generator is loud.

  25. “My prepping advice to anyone; keep things at least somewhat organized. If you can’t find it, you don’t have it.”

    Excellent advice from Mr. Terry, and a good reminder for me; more and better organization is needed here on several levels.

    “But I do not believe polls anymore…”

    And a good point from Mr. Lynn; yeah, the polls could be a sack of wet puppy poop and Marine could shock us all, but man, that kinda lead seems hard to beat, if anywhere near accurate.

    Hats off to Mr. H. for handling an unexpected situation very nicely and finding out a couple of things, good enough to share with us here. Noisy gens could be an issue in a real SHTF scenario. I’m even reconsidering or at least thinking about it more carefully; do we get one and at least have it available for such events as the one experienced by Mr. H? And for longer periods, assuming we can still get fuel to run it? But if fuel is no longer available it becomes a pricey doorstop.

    Why not simply prep to survive and prosper in a circa 1900 scenario, with bits of electricity and electronics and mechanical and tech knowledge, gear and skillz that weren’t available back then? No grid anymore and of course no more funny cat videos and shopping at AMZ, and horror of horrors, no more pixels on the smartypants phones and no tee-vee. Back to when it was quiet at night and DARK.

    More labor-intensive, of course, and families will have to re-learn staying together instead of being scattered over the planet.

    Just some tedious late-night thoughts here in northwestern Vermont on a rainy night with the lake looking like an ocean hahbuh.

  26. The noise is why you don’t run your gennie at night here.

    Also why I went to a whole house gennie, as it’s much quieter than the gas one, being a car engine with a big muffler.

    One of the reasons the little honda 3000 inverter unit is so popular is it is quiet.

    I think that for all but TEOTWAWKI you will want a gennie. You have food in the fridge and freezer, have a myriad of useful devices, etc. And it might just be your own personal SHTF while most people are fine. For hurricane Ike, we were without power for 14 days, but most of the city was back up in only a couple of days. That was the perfect reason for a gennie…

    n

  27. One of my prepping projects this summer, @H.Combs , is to install a generator bypass panel. I can run 4 circuits off my 5K generator. That will cover the den (for satellite TV and LED lights and TV), kitchen (to run the fridge and maybe the LED lights), the garage storage room circuit (for the chest freezer), and the bedroom (for my CPAP machine). I’ve looked at the circuit descriptions on the power panel, and thing things are pretty isolated, so no major re-wire work needed.

    I have swapped out all of my ‘can’ lights to use LED bulbs. And I have two of those power-loss FLASHLIGHTS in two places to provide quick light. Plus the LED lanterns (two), and a few LED headlamp FLASHLIGHTS.

    Having the bypass panel installed (an easy enough job) will make generator hookup easier – no long heavy-duty extension cords. The TV/satellite reciever is protected with a good quality surge protector, so not worried about dirty generator power. And the roll-up garage door springs are new, so I’ll be able to manually rollup the doors to wheel out the generator (which is secured to the garage door railings with a heavy-duty plastic-covered cable lock).

    Up here in the windy Olympic Peninsula, we usually get wind-caused power outages a couple times each winter. Max length of past outages here have been under 8 hours since we moved here 3 years ago. I’m in a residential area with underground power, so our area is usually higher on the utility’s recovery list than other more rural areas (which have been known to be out for 2 days during those wind events.)

    Although yesterdays big lightening storms (2500+ strikes in the Seattle and surrounding area) yesterday has caused some still-continuing power outages. No problem in my AO, though.

    The generator-powered circuits will also be used to keep cell phones and e-readers charged.

    In the meantime, getting really close on getting the new version of Mrs Pournelle’s Reading program ready for beta testing. About 2/3 of the way through with the PayPal payment process. All other parts of the program are done. Some back-end stuff (setting up an LLC, and the Kickstarter site) are next on the list.

  28. [snip] keep things at least somewhat organized. If you can’t find it, you don’t have it. [snip]

    To that end: Hard copy, boys and girls. Organize your shelving, put the inventory in some database (spreadsheets work well), and keep an up to date printout on a clipboard. Yes, it’s an antique way of doing things, but it works when the power is out, etc. “Honey, where’s the baking powder and the C-123 batteries?” “Shelf Blue-A-5 for the baking powder, shelf Yellow-C-8 for the batteries.” “Thank you.”

  29. “I am always amused seeing sociologists try to do statistical analyses. Particularly the conclusions they draw.”

    Here is the sociology stat:
    The state of CA university system graduates two sociology majors for each homeless person annually, but they can’t solve the homeless problem.

  30. If I lose electric for more than an hour, I’m “Fifing” myself.

    I must have my pixels!!!

    Check your gennies regularly. It’s sucks when they don’t fire up.

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